resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
January, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 01
Massage Chairs: Fad, Fixture or Therapeutic Tool?
By Raymond Blaylock
The debate goes on. Some people still consider massage chairs, and the work performed on them, a form of "fluff and buff" massage, not true therapeutic massage. Some would offer that seated massage is a good marketing tool to get people into the office or clinic to get some "real" massage.
My original introduction to the use of a massage chair was during a time when my practice was located within a physical therapy rehab center in Monterey, Calif. So my frame of reference to the use of a massage chair was for people who were so physically uncomfortable that it was not possible for them to lie down on a table. In some instances my initial work was done with them on a stool. Certain types of dysfunction such as whiplash, rotator cuff injury rehab and low back discomfort seemed to present instances where the positioning on a massage chair made the massage work easier to perform and less of an energy drain on my body.
The original massage chairs in this country, and all chairs since (save for a couple of exceptions), have been designed on the concept of the back-saver chair that became popular in the early 1980s. You remember the design; a chair with no back and a slanted seat with slanted kneepads for the legs. The design was the brainchild of a Danish orthopedist, with the thought being in this position you could not "slouch" and your vertebrae were "stacked" in a fairly straight column. The chair was done for people who were spending many hours sitting at a desk doing repetitive motions with their hands above their waists, and developing the compensatory low back discomfort and cervical immobility that is associated with that type of position.
The Danish orthopedist theorized that the position in the back-saver chair relieved about 70 percent of the pressure at L-5, S-1. Although the back-saver chairs never became a large market, home versions were developed, and high-tech Sharper Image versions exist today, but research never could verify the stated hypothesis.
My experience has been that it is an effective position for individuals with low back pain. At just about every show that I have ever done over the last 17 years, I have had at least one individual who was complaining of low back discomfort tell me that the discomfort had significantly subsided after they had sat down on the chair, many times before I had even had them lean forward into the chest pad and headrest.
In the rehab setting, the chair was very significant in that I could get the chair to fit each individual according to his or her body size and type. I could put them into a supported position with the weight and pressure off L-5,S-1. A two-fold advantage exists due to the seat and leg position design of the chair and the effect on the lumbar area; and the weight and pressure release on the cervical area, due to the position and support of the head in the adjustable headrest. When the client is properly positioned, the spine is in this supported position allowing the muscles of the client's back and neck to relax, releasing biomechanical tension. The spine is ideally reasonably straight after you adjust the client in the chair with a line drawn along the lateral body from the center of the ear through the greater trochanter. The pressure on the cervical area and the lumbar region is reduced dramatically. Actually, in this position you can usually detect hypertonic tissue like a "speed bump." Plus, I think that if you just left them in the chair for 10-15 minutes in this position they would experience a certain level of release without even putting your hands on their bodies. When we do begin to use our hands, the position in the chair has helped them to become relaxed and has already relieved some of the existing tension in the cervical area and the lumbar region. In effect, the chair has already done some of the work for us.
I have found that most upper body work can be performed in a massage chair more efficiently, with about a quarter to a half the energy expenditure on my part needed for table work. For some of the work on the hand, arm and shoulders, I can actually sit down while being incredibly effective.
It has been said, "You can't build a house with just a hammer." I am assuming this would include "remodeling," too. For myself, after 36 years of doing bodywork, I know I need tools to assist me in my continued proficiency and longevity in this profession.
Perhaps it is time for you to take another look at the massage chair in a different light. When I say we can do business everywhere, what about other countries and customs related to touch? Take a look at this link to a Web site called the Business of Touch: www.businessoftouch.com.
Raymond Blaylock, practitioner and educator, is the director of education at the Touch Resource Institute. He may be contacted by email
or through his Web site: www.mytouchresources.com.
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